…y know what a word is worth. The historical record certainly suggests it used to be worth more, but longform writers also know that their work can be inefficient. They are people who care too much about their subjects, whose depth of interest defies the rational allocation of labor time. Paying well for that time has traditionally been the province of economically irrational men with their own agendas — and Tina Brown.
Of course, freelance writing is better paid for those willing to receive support from the NAF or Michael Bloomberg or the Nation Institute or Cato or the Kochs or some other interested pile of money. And if pay continues to drop in real dollars, those checks could make the difference between who’s on the cover and who does something else with their time. They probably already do.